Deutsche Boerse’s CEO Carsten Kengeter shared that insider trading allegations against him would prove unfounded, pointing out that he did not determine the timing of his share purchases ahead of the announcement of merger plans with the London Stock Exchange (LSE), Reuters reported earlier today.
Deutsche Boerse’s supervisory board created a unique share purchase plan for Kengeter that allowed him to invest 4.5 million euros ($4.8 million) in shares in the stock exchange operator at a price of 69 euros apiece in December 2015, he told a news conference on Thursday.
German police and prosecutors this month searched Kengeter’s office and apartment as they investigate whether secret merger talks with LSE were already under way at that time.
When I purchased the shares using my own funds, I did not do so at a time of my own choosing. I did so between 1 and 21 December 2015 within a time-frame fixed by the supervisory board,” he said, adding that the shares were subject to a holding period until the end of 2019.
He did not comment on the ongoing investigation.
Separately, Kengeter said a failure to complete the merger with LSE to create Europe’s biggest stock market would weaken Germany’s main financial center, Frankfurt.
Deutsche Boerse and LSE are proposing to locate the company headquarters in London, despite calls by regulators in the German state of Hesse to transfer more responsibility to Germany. The Brexit vote has amplified those demands.